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0082 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 82 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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5. A. It was built on the same principle as 5. B and 5. C. Length 2.3 m., width at the middle 42 cm. Ox-hides had covered the lid, and the wood looked very fresh. Most of the coffin was filled with sand, and it contained no objects. The corpse was apparently dragged out through the open end, and such objects accompanying it as were of no interest to the plunderers were left lying around. There we picked up objects such as a small basket (5. D : 2), the rear part of a reed arrow-shaft with three-winged feathers (5. D: 3) , two complete and two fragmentary arrow-shafts with two tufts of feathers and decorated with small incised triangles (5. D: 4-7), one half of a wooden object that has been wound round with strings, Pl. 8: 9, the two halves of an object in the shape of an animal's leg, Pl. 8: 3, a long feather wound with red wool probably a part of the adornment of a head-dress, and several bunches of cut Ephedra twigs tightly wound with woollen yarn, Pl. II : 6. The latter as well as the two last-mentioned wooden objects must have some symbolical or ritual significance, which will be discussed in the following.

Coffin 5. E.

Near the western side and the southern end of the big palisade a coffin of the same kind as 5. A was buried in an E—W direction lying between an oar-shaped monument and a big pole. Only the western end of the lid was intact. Length of coffin 2.4 m., width at middle 4o cm., height 3o cm.

The corpse was not totally destroyed by the plunderers; for instance, were the mummified legs and the footgear still in place, the latter was taken by us as a sample (5 E: 2), being of the typical shape. They had been tied with long, thick cords of brown wool. The mantle was of coarse brown wool. It has two short red stripes just like the mantle in 5. A. At the right side of the corpse there was a red-painted arrow, Pl. 7: I I, too crooked to have been suitable for shooting which would seem to indicate its symbolical meaning. Grains of wheat, twigs of Ephedra, a second arrow, and the wooden object Pl. 8 : 4 were also recovered from inside the coffin.

The legs of the corpse were hairy (brown colour), and below each knee was tied a string.

Coffin 5. F.

Immediately to the west of coffin 5. E was another coffin situated in N 60° WS 60° E, the head placed towards the last-mentioned direction. Length of coffin, which was identical with 5. A, 2.6 m., largest width at top 45 cm., height of side boards 35 cm. The eastern end had been opened by treasure-seekers, and half of the lid was gone. It had been covered with hides. The head was missing on the poorly mummified corpse, which was wrapped in a coarse grey mantle. Near the upper end the edge was tied into three small bags, two of which contained Ephedra